Led by general contractor Gilbane Building Co,. Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn has started vertical construction at what will be a $10 billion campus in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, WTMJ-TV reported.
Currently, about 200 construction workers are installing 400 precast concrete panels — up to 15 per day — and readying the site to start structural steelwork sometime during the week of Aug. 26. Work on the campus's roads and utilities continues as well.
Adam Jelen with Gilbane told WTMJ-TV that the plan is to have most of the manufacturing facility's enclosure complete before winter weather arrives and to start turning over portions of the building to Foxconn by spring 2020.
Foxconn announced that Gilbane and joint venture partner Exyte, formerly known as M+W Group, had been selected as general contractor for the project in Jan. 2018, and, since then, site and utility work has been ongoing, as well as the completion of a 120,000-square-foot, multipurpose building that houses contractor offices as well as some research and development activities.
Gilbane and Exyte are following a "Wisconsin First" hiring policy, giving priority to Wisconsin workers and subcontractors, and, in total, have awarded approximately $175 million in contracts thus far. The latest round of contracts was valued at $15 million, and those were primarily related to electrical work for a power substation.
Bids were due Aug. 2 for the fabrication facility's enclosure, and included such scopes of work as concrete slab on grade, masonry, carpentry, roofing, metal panels and siding, aluminum, glass, dock components and site and roadway lighting.
In July, Foxconn issued a Request for Proposals from construction management firms interested in providing construction management services for another building on the campus — the North American headquarters for Foxconn Industrial Internet (Fii), the industrial internet arm of the company.
Earlier this year, some reports had Foxconn rethinking its manufacturing investment in the U.S. and using the Mount Pleasant property for a technology hub instead. However, company officials reaffirmed their commitment to building a manufacturing facility. According to the WTMJ report, though, the facility will be smaller — but still "massive."
When the state of Wisconsin negotiated with Foxconn to bring an LED screen manufacturing operation to the Mount Pleasant area, state officials sweetened the deal with $3 billion of tax incentives in exchange for creating 13,000 permanent jobs. So far, the company has failed to meet the job creation goals set forth in the agreement. Construction positions, while adding to the economic output of the project, don't count toward meeting those goals.